Game No. 51, 2009. Sam Weinman threw it to me.
He handed over a playoff-bound team that was doing fine … although plenty of fans, blogsters (not yet tabbed as Boneheads) had their doubts and their worries.
See, in Game 49 the Rangers won their second game in a row, and fifth in their last six. In Game 50, before Sam broke our hearts and left for literally greener fairways,they lost at Pittsburgh, 6-2. Still, they were 29-17-4 for 62 points, second in the Atlantic and fifth in the East.
Well, we know what started with that Pittsburgh game. I took over the blog. The Rangers were shut out 1-0 in Boston, and the downward spiral that included the 10-2 loss in Dallas followed, soon to result in the Feb. 23 coaching change … although not a lot of change in the scoring woes … and then a blown 3-1 lead in the first round of the playoffs, in which they ultimately were undone by their inability, again, to score. (side note: Feb. 2009 crushed the blog record for traffic because of all the controversy).
This season, the Rangers won Game 50 for a two-game winning streak in which they have scored 14 goals in the last five periods, after scoring one in the previous 10 periods. They are 24-19-7 for 55 points, third in the Atlantic, sixth in the East. In other words, not quite as good as last year. Just sayin’.
Now that I’ve gotten that out there, and for no good reason other than I realized that this is where I came in last season … there are 32 left, with tonight’s game in Philly a massive barometer for your heroes (who are 10-3-4 in their last 17, by the way).